While the T1000 was ahead on that front, it also offered a rather archaic LCD display as illustrated above (here for readers on mobile devices and in this manual that Toshiba thoughtfully keeps on the web.The machine ran MS-DOS 2.11 on a ROM, an oddity at the time when booting from removable media was commonplace. Toshiba seems to have figured out that carrying around an OS disks was not going to be a hit with mobile users, so made the extra investment. The computer came with a colossal 512KB of RAM (enough for anyone!) and a single 3.5-inch floppy drive.Holrum says the T1000s are taken offline every few years for just the few minutes required to replace the NiCad batteries and give them a clean, before they are returned to duty as process monitoring terminals.That's not the only oldie Holrum has running: he says he mailed us on a 2005 Mac Mini G4 Power PC machine and typed on an original IBM PC/AT keyboard with an AT to USB adapter. “The keyboard is borrowed from my still working IBM PC/AT purchased the week before they were released to the public (it has a low three digit serial number).”Impressive. But perhaps not as impressive as another tale Holrum shared, of the solar-powered remote monitoring systems he built in the mid 1980s and which have been running ever since, except for after a mud storm. And that one time a guy shot up the solar panels.
The systems were “deployed in far flung remote locations around the planet” and given a US$10,000 annual maintenance budget. That money was duly set aside year after year, but never used. Except by a “wily manager who noticed the bucks accumulating in an obscure account and for years trousered most of it... until a new accountant noticed.”“He embezzled the money,” Holrum says. “Apparently it went on for several years. I guess that explains why he never accepted any promotions.”Do you have older laptops still running? If so, write and let me know.We may even get around to giving this very old computers column a name if it keeps going. When Eurocom releases new laptops – or 'mobile workstations' as it prefers to call them – it can be hard to keep one's jaw from the floor.This time around the company's released the Sky X9W complete with a quad-core, eight-thread, Intel Core i7 6700K capable of operating at 4.2GHz and nestled amidst an Intel Z170 Express (Skylake) chipset. The NVIDIA Quadro M5000M dwarfs the CPU for core count: it's got 1,536 of its own.
Pack in 64GB of DDR4-2133, 2400 or 2666 RAM, if you please, then throw in up to four NVME SSDs and give them the RAID 10 treatment for data protection.This time around, Eurocom says the machine has a battery, which is a bit of a disappointment because it had previously labelled the portable power source an “uninterruptible power supply”. The company's also managed to shave 700 grams off previous mobile workstations to weigh in at a mere 4.8 kilograms.Which is not to say a call to harden up would be fair: there's at least three fans we can see in this machine, a single USB-C port, a pair of mini display ports capable of driving four monitors, an HDMI outlet, five USB 3.0 ports, a pair of RJ45s and Wi-Fi.Prices start at US$2,930, but the configurator lets you crank that up far higher – just the maximum GPU option we've mentioned above sees the machine hit $4309.If you don't feel the need for a holiday this decade, or need to take a very grunty machine into the kind of place you don't want to go on holiday, the Sky X9W may be for you! BT has blamed a faulty router for knocking its network offline yesterday, leaving hundreds of thousands of customers without the internet.The telecoms giant apologised for the failure, which began at around 2pm yesterday afternoon. Customers across the country were unable to get online, with reports of the outage affecting London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Glasgow.
In a statement yesterday evening, it said: BT is confident that services have been fully restored following an outage that affected several hundred thousand customers earlier today.A faulty router was to blame for the outage and we apologise to those customers who were affected.Earlier this week, BT posted its best quarter results in seven years. Profit before tax soared by 24 per cent to £862m on revenue up three per cent to £4.6bn compared with the same three months last year.Ofcom is expected to decide whether or not to recommend spinning out BT's broadband division, Openreach.More than 100 MPs have called for a separation of Openreach, claiming the company has substantially failed to deliver on its rural broadband commitments.However, in its quarterly earnings call, chief exec Gavin Patterson said the company had been very disappointed by the report. Getting hold of USB-C cables can be a pain, but a Google engineer has found one that actually qualifies as dangerous after it broke three pieces of hardware, including a very expensive Pixel Chromebook.Googler Benson Leung has been on a quest to try out the latest USB Type-C cables and find those that aren't up to snuff. Properly configured Type C connectors should be able to provide power and very high data rates, but most of those on the market have serious flaws, he has found.
His findings have already caused one manufacturer to make a public mea culpa. In his latest review, for a Surjtech 3M USB A-to-C cable, Leung found that the cable had been wired up incorrectly and was actively harmful.He reported that he plugged the cable into his 2015 edition Pixel via a USB power delivery analyzer and connected it to an Apple 12W iPad charger. The second the connection was made it fried both the analyzer and the Pixel laptop.The analyzer, and a second unit he tried, both died on contact with the cable and not even a firmware reinstall would get them working. As for the Pixel, both USB ports died as the current fried the embedded controller, meaning the laptop couldn't be charged or linked to another device.I directly analyzed the Surjtech cable using a Type-C breakout board and a multimeter, and it appears that they completely miswired the cable. The GND pin on the Type-A plug is tied to the Vbus pins on the Type-C plug. The Vbus pin on the Type-A plug is tied to GND on the Type-C plug, he wrote.This is a total recipe for disaster and I have 3 pieces of electronics dead to show for it – my Pixel 2015 and two USB PD analyzers. Needless to say, this cable is fundamentally dangerous. Do not buy this under any circumstances.Leung said that he'd gotten in contact with the manufacturer to discuss the issue. As the item is no longer for sale on Amazon, it appears the company has responded.